Regardless of what your divorce proceeding was (nasty or amicable), there’s no question that it takes a toll on young children. Even older adult children report that divorce takes on a toll on their mental health when parents divorce later in life. Now, imagine how that would feel for someone young who still relies solely on their parents for stability.
Ease Up on Child Custody Arguments
Believe it or not, even babies feel it when there’s tension between their parents. As the adults, it is up to you and your ex to ensure that you keep your arguments about child custody between the two of you. Sometimes it might even be better to get your lawyer to smooth things out with your ex-spouse. They would be better placed to draw out a custody plan if you and your former partner decide to file for joint custody.
They become even more critical if you decide to file for sole custody of your child or children. Circumstances may be such that you would want to have physical and legal sole custody of your child. For example, you came from an abusive and toxic relationship. However, do take note that the onus is on you to prove to the courts that your former spouse cannot be trusted with your children. Make sure to listen to your lawyer’s advice to lessen the stress on you and especially on your kids when custody proceedings start.
Think of Your Child Custody Proceedings Like a Business
Understandably, you’re feeling emotional and vulnerable at this time, but you have to remember those child custody procedures should not be just about you. Your child should come first and foremost at this time, so you have to realistically evaluate what they need and how you and your ex-spouse can provide for them.
For instance, if the only reason you are filing for sole custody is to spite your ex, stop and think about their relationship with your children. Have they been a good parent? Is the child happy and healthy when they are visiting with your ex-spouse? If so, remove all the negativity and work a schedule with your ex wherein you both could have equal time with your children.
Don’t Bad Mouth Your Ex
It’s easy to say bad things about your ex to your children when you’re in the middle of divorce proceedings, but you should refrain from doing so. To you, it may seem like harmless discourse, but to your children, saying bad things about your ex is similar to you saying they are like your ex. Remember that you may no longer stand your ex, but your child still loves them as a parent. So when you speak negatively about them, your child internalizes what you are saying and would feel like you’re talking about them, and this is where the self-hatred starts taking a toll on their mental well-being.
Divorce is a difficult time for anybody. You might think it’s just between the two of you, but the truth is, it affects a lot of people: your children, your family, your friends, and maybe even your co-workers. Try not to get tunnel vision when it comes to the dissolution of your marriage and look at the bigger picture, especially when it comes to how you can help your children cope.